Epstein and Co. hire Sveum as new manager
MILWAUKEE- In one of the busiest offseasons the Chicago Cubs have had in the past decade, the entire front office, excluding the owner Tom Ricketts got a makeover. Former General Manager Jim Hendry was fired by Ricketts in August, and former Red Sox GM Theo Epstein was chosen to replace him as well as getting a promotion to be the President of Baseball Operations. Epstein’s first moves were to bring in his old time friends Jed Hoyer, the new General Manager and Executive Vice President, and Jason McLeod, the new Senior Vice President.
Together, the trio won 2 World Series with the Boston Red Sox and their mission in Chicago is to give Cub fans what they want, not five, not six, and not seven but a lifetime of World Series victories. The expected first move was to decide on the future of Manager Mike Quade. After meeting for 7 hours, Epstein decided that Quade was not the man for the job. In the past few weeks the Cubs have held interviews for their vacant managerial spot with candidates such as, Mike Maddux, Sandy Alomar Jr., Pete Mackanin, and Dave Martinez but in Epstein’s eyes noone could compare to one man, Dale Sveum. After all Sveum has already served under Epstein as the Third Base Coach for the Boston Red Sox in 2004 (The year the red sox ended their “curse”). Epstein offered Sveum the job which he accepted early thursday afternoon.
Sveum’s most recent position was the hitting coach for the defending National League Central Champion Milwaukee Brewers. He has little managerial experience on his resumé with only a short time has the interim manager for the Brew Crew in 2008 after the firing of Ned Yost. When Yost was fired the team hired Ken Macha and Sveum decided to stay on staff to be the hitting coach. In 2009, the Brewers were 6th in the National League in batting average with .263 and 3rd in home runs with 182. With develping players such as Ryan Braun and Price Fielder, Sveum and the Brewers stayed atop the league in hitting for the next two years. This past season Sveum helped the Brewers get to 3rd in the NL in average with .261 and first in the National League in home runs with 185.
Sveum takes over a Cubs team which has little hope for the near future. They finished 5th in the NL Central last year going 71-91. He is stuck with problems such as what to do with Zambrano, where in the lineup to put Alfonso Soriano, and how to properly develop one of the best young shortstops in the league, Starlin Castro. Any way you look at it Sveum sure has his hands full with the loveable losers.
Cub fans should be happy, after a long and shameful season, the Cubs have finally finished their process of getting a new management core. Step one for the new staff, free agency where stars such as Albert Pujols, Price Fielder, Jose Reyes, and C.J. Wilson headline the market. Most free agent’s start their talks with different teams at the annual Winter Meetings, this year in Dallas on December 5th through the 8th.